Updated: November 2017

Colander Reviews:

Whether you walk into the kitchen and pretend you're on Iron Chef or you walk in and wonder what that shiny, boxy thing with coils on top of it is, there are certain tools you'll need to make it a functional kitchen. One of the essentials is a colander, or kitchen strainer. A versatile little tool, master chefs and toast-burners alike will find a colander to be indispensable. Cooking at home is not only a money-saver, it is a joy, and colanders help make it a little easier, too. This guide will look at different types of strainers as well as some buying tips to help you make your decision.

What is a Colander? - Many people refer to colanders as strainers, and that is exactly what they do. The most common use for these is to strain the water from pasta, but they can be used for other purposes as well. Some of the most common:

*Cleaning lentils and other dry beans (these often have small stones and other debris in them so you need to rinse them).
*Washing vegetables for salad.
*Draining canned vegetables or fruits.

But there are other clever uses that you may never have thought of. One of the best is to use the colander to prevent spitting from foods like hamburgers. As you're cooking them on a frying pan, invert a colander and place it over the fry pan. The holes will allow the hot air to escape but will trap the majority of the spatter. If you do this, make sure to use a metal colander, and make sure to use an oven mit! If you buy a strainer with a pot, like Crate and Barrel's Pasta Cooker Veggie Steamer, you have a handy strainer and steamer in one convenient package. Keep an eye on your colander: your kids may appropriate it for use in the sandbox. It's also good for gathering bath toys and draining them. But it's perfectly fine if you want to keep it in the kitchen. Colander reviews - There are lots of owner reviews for colanders and strainers on websites like Cooking.com or Amazon.com. Read unbiased feedback and find out which products are actually the best. You can browse the best selling colanders and food strainers here.

Best Colanders:

People shopping for colanders may not realize that there is actually quite a variety. While there are endless choices for the classic round colander, you can also find some non-traditional choices that may suit you even better. We'll start with a traditional colander and work from there. Cooking.com, a favorite with cooks everywhere, rated their huge selection of colanders to develop a short list for consumers. Making the cut is the Stainless Steel Wire Mesh Colander by Harold Import Company. This is available in either 8.5-inch or 11-inch diameters, and both feature a mesh basket that is ideal for rinsing vegetables, as well as draining pasta. The Harold Import colander has a raised bottom portion so water doesn't collect at the bottom of the basket, which can ruin pasta. The colander comes with a 1-year warranty, and the stainless steel build will give you years of great use. You can find this for $12. A great innovation in the area of kitchen colanders is the over-the-sink colander. This allows you to drain or rinse without either holding the colander or resting it on the bottom of your sink. This colander is a godsend for those who may have a dish or two in the sink! A recommendation of Cooking.com and a favorite of Amazon consumers is the Norpro Stainless Steel Over the Sink Colander. This great stainless steel mesh basket hangs over your sink, and rubber feet and sliding handles allow you to customize the fit for your particular sink. You can also adjust the basket to hang under the faucet. Another great feature of these over-the-sink colanders is that they allow you to catch drippings that you don't want running down the drain. Just slip a pan underneath. The Norpro Expandable Over-the-Sink Colander is $30. You can also find over-the-sink plastic colanders. These are useful because you can find models that collapse for easy storage. Try the Progressive International 6 Quart Collapsible Over-the Sink Colander. It reviews very well on Amazon, with one customer calling it a "great little tool." The Progressive is a collapsible colander; you can fold it to a third of its original size so you can easily put it in the dishwasher or a cabinet for storage. It expands up to 24 inches and has non-skid feet to keep it locked into place. Made of food-grade silicone with a rigid plastic rim, this colander is a great and very easy choice. You can find it for just under $18. Wok strainers are making a big splash in kitchens all over the world, and they can be immensely useful. Cooking.com's favorite is WMF's Wok Strainer. This sleek strainer is made of 18/10 stainless steel and features a long satin finish handle and hanging loop. The 14-inch circumference allows for great versatility: it is commonly used to strain dumplings or ravioli out of deep pots or handling food in hot woks or deep fryers. You can use it to fish out food from a pot of broth. You'll find ever more uses in the kitchen as well. The WMF Wok Strainer is regarded as one of the best because of its hygienic and seamless build. It is beautifully balanced and will provide excellent service for years. Get it for $18. For those who like to make the most of each inch of space, a pasta pot with steamer is a great idea. Inside of a large pot (perfect for pasta!) fits a pasta cooker and a vegetable steamer, which can also handle straining duties. A good one to try is the Prime Pacific Pasta Cooker and Steamer set. This beautiful set includes stock pot, deep pasta cooker, steamer insert, and vented glass lid. The steel has a matte finish that looks great in contemporary kitchens. At $45, this is a great value and will be a very versatile addition to your kitchen. Browse top rated colanders here. Whether you want a great classic strainer or a set, you cannot have a functional kitchen without a colander.